Story by Radical Yes! Founder and Brand Director Kerryn Moscicki.
Ahhh ‘Classics’. Perhaps the most overused and misinterpreted vernacular in the fast world of fashion. It’s a conundrum when you think what was ‘classic’ 3 years ago is probably no longer classic, but now relegated to the has-been status of norm-core trends gone by. The notion of classic also changes as you age. Denim cut offs used to be considered essential, but now they just frighten me.
Maybe the whole classics thing is thinking of it as a more ‘adult’ way to dress. Whether that be about buying the perennial ’investment’ pieces that reduce the number of items you own and therefore decisions you need to make in the morning (because – life!), or whether it be about wearing more adult-like items in the hope that one day you will finally grow up (we can all dream, right).
In this way, it can be difficult to define a ‘classic’, however here we make a case for three essential black shoes we made especially to own forever and at the very least to wear in the transition into Winter.
Meet Blessed – The Classic Black Ballet Flat
Above: Melbourne dancer and choreographer Deanne Butterworth wears our Blessed black ballet at the Radical Yes Fitting Salon.
We can cite a number of great women from history doing great things whilst wearing black ballet pumps. Starting with a 1957 Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face, meandering through to some of Robert Mapplethorp’s images of Patti Smith in dreamy ‘la garcons’ style, through to film director and nineties everything idol Sophia Coppola in a Marc by Marc Jacobs campaign and even Amy Winehouse in her more luminous days. There is something about these shoes that says ‘Im getting things done and I may break into a dance about it …!’
Decidedly European in their reference, for our own take we made our ‘Blessed’ toe tappers in considered (some might say ‘classic’...) proportions. Not too deep over the vamp, but deep enough that they stay easily on the foot, and of course cut with the perfect hint of toe cleavage. We also built in 5mm thick memory foam padding to the insole board for optimum long-day-on-your-feet wearing.
The best thing about a black ballet flat is always the versatility. Wear them with a slightly fitted stripe tee and skinny leg pant and they become beatnik relevant. Match them with an ankle length black skirt and manstyle shirt and suddenly it’s a feminine dancers silhouette. Either way, it’s hard to argue that it’s anything but a look you will be able to wear for some time.
Meet Dharma - The Classic Black Patent Driving Shoe
Does anything say classic more loudly than Black Patent? The substantial shiny finish - the perfectly pressed - almost school uniform appealing precision of that material made ever more wondrous when cut in Driving Shoe proportions! Nothing but yes to the joy of the patent shine.
Black Patent of course is every wonder woman’s best friend. Baby Chino dropped on your feet at 11am – nothing a quick chux won’t fix. Step in a puddle on your fast exit from work to the tram later in the day – easy-peasy you are practically wearing gum boots. Hard wearing and so luxe to look at – we really can’t say enough about the classic properties of Black Patent.
Whilst we are on the subject, let’s just be really up front. Driving Shoes say something really sharp about a woman. Maybe a hangover from the days of 1920s Chanel where women were empowered for the first time to start man-style dressing, or maybe in reference to the English Establishment brands like Tods or even Paul Smith – a driving shoe can make you feel really together even when everything else is not.
See our Dharma driving shoes in black patent leather here.
Meet the Resolution Slide in Imported Italian Black Calf Hair
Since when is a slide a classic? Well this is the wardrobe of Radical Yes, so our definitions were always going to be broader than most.
The great thing about a slide is the opportunity to be so comfortable as to think you are in your pajamas’ and perhaps soon off to bed, however remaining mysterious enough as to basically look aloof in whatever outfit it is you care to match with them. Again we class them as classic for their versatility – wear them with a long line shirt dress gathered at the waist with a man’s leather belt and up-turned collar for 80’s inspired melodrama, or simple cropped rinse denim jeans and a white tee-shirt for Olsen Twins inspired chic (that is a thing).
The best thing about our incarnation of this look in our Resolution Pony Hair Slide, aside from the high quality Italian imported Calf Hair used on the upper, is the hidden green velvet lining we used to really put the slipper in the slide.
Fun fact – the velvet is from the same supplier as the green velvet curtain we made for The Fitting Salon, so wherever you walk we can guarantee you will take a little piece of radical magic with you. Go forth and write poems in these! This is future classic rad friends!
Photography by Agnieszka Chabros.